Shorter days, longer nights, and the unmistakable nip in the air are sure signs that fall is on its way. Most of us prepare our homes and property for the next season. This fall, besides packing away summer wardrobes and raking up piles of falling leaves, take steps to protect your home against rodents. 

These pests often seek shelter indoors during the fall and winter months. As you prepare for fall, a few preventative measures for pest management now can save you time and money on pest removal or property damage when the weather gets even colder.

Rodents come into a house to seek warmth and a food source. These creatures can cause home or property damage (they are notorious for chewing through wiring, creating possible fire hazards), spread germs and disease, and cause a secondary infestation of mites, fleas, ticks, and more. If you detect a pest problem, take steps to get rid of them as soon as possible.

What are the top rodents in Northeast Pennsylvania?

Let’s look at some of the most common rodents you’ll find in Northeast Pennsylvania, though hopefully not your home, this fall.


Squirrels are among the most prevalent rodents found in homes during the fall and winter. These critters love to nest in basements, attics, and crawl spaces. They are well-known chewers—namely, wiring and insulation. They can also chew through siding or under eaves to get into a house.


Mice are small, but the amount of damage they can cause to a house is massive. Like squirrels, mice are notorious chewers. They have been known to chew through wiring, paneling, even pipes—pretty much anything. Worse, the bacteria in their waste is a toxic breeding ground for disease (and unfortunately, they leave droppings everywhere). Mice will also chew on food items in pantries and sometimes cupboards. They will either nibble through the packaging to get to the food itself, or shred products like paper towels and tissues to line their nests.


Rats and mice have very similar behavior in that both have incredibly destructive chewing habits. Rats’ teeth are continually growing, so they are constantly chewing to offset the growth. Rats are shameless food thefts, as well—they will quickly chew through cardboard or plastic bags to get to the food. Like mice, rat droppings are extremely toxic and have been linked to diseases like hantavirus, hemorrhagic fever, lassa fever, and lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, among others.


Groundhogs are large rodents more likely to damage your property than your home. They primarily eat plants and will chew up your flower or vegetable garden before your home’s siding or paneling. That’s the good news. The bad news is they can easily consume your whole garden, essentially ruining all your work to beautify your property. In addition, groundhogs are burrowing animals and can create unsightly holes, which are also potential trip or fall hazards. Unfortunately, they can also chew on underground cables, creating potential power outages or other problems inside the home.

How do rodents get in?

Don’t let their size be deceiving—rodents can get into a home through the tiniest of openings. For example, mice can fit through an opening that’s only ½ inch wide. Common entry points include:

  • Ripped or torn screens: A small rip or tear will not only give rodents easy access to your home but insects, as well. To protect your home from pests of all kinds, replace the entire screen as soon as you can.
  • Cracks or crevices: It’s essential to do routine checks of your home and property so you notice anything out of the ordinary and can do a quick fix. Small things like sealing any cracks indoors or your house’s foundation can go a long way toward preventing pests from getting in.  
  • Corner openings and J-channels: Corner posts are used to finish off the ends of siding at the corner of your house; J-channels is a kind of trim at the ends of windows and doors to hide the ends of vinyl siding. The space where the trim meets the siding is small, yet a mouse can still squeeze through. Steel pads or copper mesh can seal off the openings; use silicone caulk for an extra layer of coverage.
  • Behind steps: Porch or basement steps are prime portals for rodents, so check them regularly.

 How can I protect my home from pests?

Residents of Northeast Pennsylvania need to be vigilant when securing your home against pests like rodents.  

  • Look for potential entry points: Small holes, clearly chewed or frayed wires, or droppings are clear indicators of an unwanted visitor. Seal any openings you may find.
  • Seal any cracks and crevices: Cement, caulking, and copper mesh are just a few of the most effective ways to seal foundational cracks or crevices or openings in door or window frames.
  • Clean up vegetation: Leaf piles, weeds or grass clippings, and other vegetation are known to draw rodents like mice, rats, and groundhogs. So be sure to clean up after doing any yard work this fall.

If your measures to secure your home against pests this fall aren’t working, contact one of our trusted pest experts below. 


Pest Issues? Contact The Pest Rangers Today.